Why should you obtain an influenza vaccination?
Influenza, or 'flu', is not the same as a common cold and can be a serious illness. For some people, such as young children, the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions, the flu can cause potentially life-threatening complications requiring hospitalisation.
With domestic and international borders now open, the flu is already circulating widely in the community in 2022, coinciding with ongoing high levels of transmission of COVID-19.
In 2021, cases of the flu remained at historically low levels. However, it has become increasingly difficult to make comparisons to previous flu seasons as all flu data from April 2020 onwards needs to account for the impact of social distancing measures, working from home, and practising good cough and hand hygiene.
Are you, or do you know someone aged 65 years or older and located in Queensland?
Your community pharmacist may be able to administer your annual influenza vaccine funded by the National Immunisation Program!
The vaccination is provided free of charge* through the National Immunisation Program to approved service providers and eligible people as part of the Queensland Community Pharmacy National Immunisation Program Pilot. The Pilot is being rolled out across a select group of Queensland community pharmacies, with the potential to be expanded to the wider pharmacy network.
Download a list of Queensland community pharmacies currently participating in the Pilot.
*Community pharmacies may charge patients a fee for the vaccination service.
Can my community pharmacist vaccinate me?
Yes. Your influenza vaccine will be administered by a highly trained and qualified pharmacist. All vaccinating pharmacists must hold a current first aid and CPR certificate and accreditation in anaphylaxis management.
When should I book my influenza vaccine?
The influenza season in Queensland is typically from June to September, with the peak usually in August. The influenza vaccine can take between 10 to 14 days to be fully effective. Now is the best time to book your influenza vaccine.
I haven’t received the COVID-19 booster, can I still receive the influenza vaccine?
Yes. If you are yet to receive your COVID-19 booster, you can book a single appointment to receive both vaccinations at the same time.
There was hardly any influenza last year, is it really worth me getting the vaccine this year?
Yes, it is. Already in May, there are significant numbers of influenza infections in Queensland. It is unknown what the extent of the spread will be this year, but with travel returning to near normal levels, it is expected that numbers will continue to increase. It is also important that you are protected against influenza and COVID-19 to minimise the risk of infection with both viruses at the same time.
Why is there a different vaccine for people aged 65 years and older?
The enhanced quadrivalent influenza vaccine is the best form of protection against influenza for older Queenslanders for the following reasons:
- Older people do not respond as well to standard influenza vaccine as the immune system response decreases with age.
- The enhanced vaccine is designed specifically to increase the immune system’s response to the vaccine, especially against the influenza A/H3N2 strain which is more common and severe in people aged 65 years and older.
The 2022 vaccine contains the same components as the vaccine provided for other age groups but has the benefit of inducing a greater immune response in older people.
Community pharmacies are Queensland’s most accessible health destination, with their staff standing ready and willing to give you and your loved ones health advice whenever you need it, even during a lockdown.
We’re encouraging you to keep up-to-date with your local community pharmacy so you can learn about all the health advice and availability of support services they can provide for you and your family.
Our Community Update Service is your best official source of information regarding community pharmacy as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to affect Queensland communities. Sign-up now for our regular update service, where we will be providing the facts and keeping Queenslanders updated on vital information, including health advice and community pharmacy services.
We work with State and Federal health departments to ensure you’ll receive all the timely, vital information relevant to the community, so you can be assured that you and thousands of fellow Queenslanders will be supported, no matter what the future holds.